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What Is It?
These large semiaquatic reptiles are predators. The word ‘crocodile’ is derived from the Ancient Greek word for ‘lizard’ as early observations of these animals identified them as ‘lizards of the Nile’. There are currently around 13 crocodile species, the largest of which is the saltwater crocodile, which can grow to over 20 feet in length and weigh over 2,000 pounds. Crocodiles belong to the archosaur group, which means they’re related to dinosaurs, and 80 million years of evolution has only slightly changed their anatomy. These creatures own a set of features that make them perfectly adapted for achieving apex predator status. In the water, their streamlined bodies and strong tails enable them to swim swiftly while their webbed feet allow them to make sharp turns and sudden moves. Crocodiles have thick and rugged skin with Osteoderms. In addition to its acute senses, a crocodile’s nostrils, ears and eyes are placed atop its head, allowing it to stay almost completely submerged in the water.
Number 5 Collin Miller
A 21-year-old man went into a crocodile cage diving attraction at Victoria Falls, Zambia, after having drinks with his friends at a nearby brewery. Collin Miller jumped into the crocodile pool around 9 pm on February 29th, 2018. A worker and another man managed to drag him out of the pool.
Where Is It Located?
These cold-blooded creatures can’t generate their own heat and that’s why they have a preference for tropical climates. They can be found in tropical habitats in Africa, the Americas, Australia and Asia. They usually inhabit areas near wetlands, rivers or lakes and even saltwater regions. Crocodiles are hyper-carnivores. Since they can’t chew, they are known to swallow small stones that grind up food in their stomachs. Their slow metabolism enables them to go months without food. Crocodiles also display advanced cognitive abilities. To catch birds looking for nesting materials, crocodiles have been observed placing sticks on their snouts before becoming partially submerged.
Number 4 John Bowman
90-year-old John Bowman and 65-year-old Rosemary Mitchell were paddling on an inflatable boat in Zimbabwe’s Matopos National Park on January 5, 2018.
As they emerge from their stealthy position in the water, they unleash remarkably fast. The crocodile’s teeth aren’t built for shearing and chewing and its jaw muscle is stiff. A 17-foot saltwater crocodile has the strongest bite ever recorded with a force of 16,000 Newton, but this is said to increase for larger specimens.
Number 3 Richard Shadwell
In April 2012, 35-year-old Richard Shadwell was on a trip to Tanjung Puting national park in the Indonesian side of Borneo. Shadwell decided to dive into a river well known as a haven for crocodiles that can grow up to 20 feet in length.
If you’re fascinated with crocodiles or wildlife in general, you might be familiar with the work of Steve Irwin. Through his series he achieved worldwide fame and inspired many with the passion and dedication he put into working with these animals. Even though most of us can’t engage crocodiles like Irwin did, there are a few things that can help you when you encounter them. Simply put, it’s easy to keep its mouth closed which could prove useful. If you’re in the water and have a free arm you can put it in the crocodile’s mouth and try to flip open the flap at the back of its mouth.
Number 2 Lolong
Lolong was a saltwater crocodile measuring 20 feet and weighing over 2,300 pounds. In November 2011 he was confirmed as the largest crocodile ever caught by Australian crocodile expert Dr. Adam Britton of National Geographic. He was suspected of eating a fisherman who went missing in the town of Bunawan, and also a 12-year-old girl.
Number 1 Gustave
Gustave is a large male Nile crocodile from Burundi. He was named by Patrice Faye, a herpetologist investigating him since the late 1990s. Gustave’s exact length and weight is unknown, but it’s believed that he may be 18 meters in length and more than 2,000 pounds. However, they didn’t succeed in catching Gustave and had to leave the country. The last reported sighting of Gustave was in June 2015, when he was allegedly seen by a resident dragging an adult bull buffalo on a riverbank.